Hispanic Heritage Month: Storytime Themes
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Hispanic Heritage Month: Storytime Themes

Check out our recommendations for storytime themes with works from Hispanic authors and illustrators.

National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place every year from September 15th to October 15th, and is meant to celebrate the lives and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. All month, we’ll be sharing lists of some of our favorite work from Hispanic authors, illustrators and filmmakers that you can check out with your Plano Public Library card. Check back each week to see selections for all ages.

The books Librarian Andrea selected below fit into a few of our favorite storytime themes. Some of them might be too long for one of our regular storytimes, but they’re all perfect for reading and sharing at home.


  1. Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto| Print Book | Spanish Print Book | Kanopy streaming video
    • This funny classic about a group of cousins getting into a bit of trouble takes place during a holiday but is applicable year-round. Most kids can relate to biting off more than they can chew (in this case, literally), and the story wraps up neatly with a bit of a surprise.
  2. What Can You Do With a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla | Print Book
    • Who doesn’t love a cold treat during a hot summer day? Tafolla’s story about paletas, or popsicles, is also about the neighbors in the barrio and what they get up to each day. Morales’ illustrations are joyful and unique and offer fun opportunities to talk about what we see on the page.
  3. 1 Big Salad by Juana Medina | Print Book
    • This might be a quick read, but it offers a lot of opportunities for discussion. There’s counting, animals, fruits and veggies, and colors to talk about while adding up the pieces of a big yummy salad.
  4. The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha Vamos (2012 2×2 Book List, 2012 Belpré Honor for Illustration) | Print Book | CD Book Set | Wonderbook | eBook | eBook Readalong
    • This story about all the work that goes into making arroz con leche, or rice pudding, slowly adds in more Spanish as the book progresses. Everyone on the farm, from people to animals, work together to create a delicious dish, and the included recipe means you can try it at home.

Friends and Family

  1. Tía Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina | Print Book | Spanish Print Book
    • This story about a girl and her aunt saving up money to buy a car shows the importance of family and community in achieving our goals. Medina, who is also known for her young adult work, brings to life common immigrant experiences and realities while highlighting some of the joys of childhood.
  2. Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martine-Neal (2019 2×2 Book List, 2019 Caldecott Honor, 2019 Tejas Star) | Print Book | Wonderbook | eBook | DVD
    • Alma sometimes feels like her name is too much for just one little girl, but throughout this book she and her father talk about the many people who make up her history and her identity. Martinez-Neal’s illustrations sweetly portray Alma’s understanding of the many people in whose honor she was named.
  3. Mamá the Alien by René Colato Laínez | Bilingual Print Book | Wonderbook
    • Told in English and Spanish, Lainez’s story reflects a common immigrant experience that might cause some confusion. Not only is the story humorous, but it highlights the power of words to different people and in different situations.


  1. Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda | Print Book
    • This short and simple twist on The Three Little Pigs is a storytime favorite because it invites reader participation and has a great surprise ending. Rueda fits a lot of character and charm into such a simple and silly story.
  2. ¡Marimba! Animales from A to Z by Pat Mora | Print Book
    • This book about a wild evening at the zoo is a fun and silly story with both rhyme and rhythm. Animal types are shared in English and Spanish, and Mora incudes a glossary at the end of the book to avoid any confusion. This story offers a lot of opportunities for movement and animal noises for kids of all ages.
  3. The Bossy Gallito by Lucía M. González | Bilingual Print Book
    • Follow the gallito, a bossy little rooster, through the streets of Miami as he tries to boss around everyone and everything he meets so he can be on time to his uncle’s wedding. This cumulative tale is told in English and Spanish, and the illustrations feature plenty of details to discuss.
  4. Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina (2016 Belpré Honor for Illustration and Narrative) | Print Book | Spanish Print Book | Wonderbook | Spanish Wonderbook
    • Mia and her abuela have trouble communicating when they first start living together, and Mia is worried they may never be able to talk the way she’d like. This is a problem many immigrant families face, and in this story Medina offers the solution of Mango, a very chatty parrot that reminds Abuela of home and allows the two to form a new connection.

Be sure to check back weekly over the next month for more lists like this in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

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